Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hunting Pheasants during the late season

Three weeks left of pheasant season this year and the birds are everywhere.  They have grouped up and are holding tight.  So far this winter, the weather has been very pleasant.  There currently is no snow, plenty of feed, and more then enough cover to hide in.  If you are looking to find large numbers of pheasants in the field, you can't beat a late season hunt!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mossy Oak's "Deer Thugs" visits Rolling Plains Adventures.



Mossy Oak Productions visited Rolling Plains Adventures last week to film a bow hunting episode for their TV show "Deer Thugs."  The crew rolled in to film the outfitter "Jeremy Doan" and one of their hunters "Jimmy Riley." 

The Hunt was set up for 6 evening hunts and 5 morning hunts.  The first evening sit, Jimmy was the only hunter on stand due to one of the camera man not making his flight on time.  Jeremy just scouted this night, but did manage to film the deer that came by while scouting.  Here is an image of one of the bucks Jeremy filmed that came in to about 10 yards of the truck!

Day 2 started with a morning hunt with only seeing a few does.  Later on that day, Jeremy got into his stand with camera man Joe at around 4:30 PM.  It started slow, but picked up real fast when a small buck appeared at 150 yards around 6:45 PM.  About 5 minutes passed when another buck appeared in the brush with him.  Then another buck!  The bucks started to beeline straight for us from 150 yards.  The one leading the group was a 5 1/2 year old mature 10 point followed by about a 4 1/2 8 point with matching stickers of the G2's.  The 10 point slowly made his way in to about 17 yards.  Jeremy drew back his PSE Pro bow and made a perfect shot through the lungs.  The deer ran about 70 yards and it was all over.  The buck scored close to 150"s. 

Day 3, 4, and 5 seemed to blur together.  Seen plenty of shooter bucks, but all just out of range. 

Day 6, the final day of the hunt.  It is now the last hunt of the trip, so planning is very crucial.   Jeremy checked all of the deer cameras that afternoon and placed Jimmy in a stand that had one buck coming in 2 nights in a row between 8:45 and 8:20.  Camera shooting light is over at about 8:20, but this was the best chance we had.  Jimmy had been sitting in the stand for a couple hours when the buck appeared at 8:15 PM.  He came in early!  The deer walked by the stand at about 15 yards when Jimmy let his arrow fly.  The deer ran about 75 yards into the most dense crop cover on the ranch.  The buck was recovered shortly after and was a perfect 10 point. 

These were 2 filmed hunts, so be on the lookout next summer for Rolling Plains Adventures episode on Mossy Oak's "Deer Thugs."

Friday, August 8, 2014

2014 Small Game and Furbearer Regulations Set

 

North Dakota’s 2014 small game and furbearer regulations are set and most season structures are similar to last year.
One change for this year is that trappers using cable devices (snares) must now register with the State Game and Fish Department prior to trapping (online registration will be available on this website mid-October).
Prairie chicken and sage grouse seasons will remain closed due to low populations.
Only North Dakota residents are permitted to hunt waterfowl from Sept. 27 – Oct. 3. Nonresidents are allowed to hunt waterfowl in North Dakota beginning Oct. 4. Other waterfowl season details will be finalized in mid-August in the waterfowl amendment to the small game and furbearer proclamation.
In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) areas from Oct. 11-17.
Hunters may notice an increase in license fees, which were established and set by the 2013 state legislature. The general game and habitat license is $20, the resident small game license – required for ages 16 and older – is $10, the resident furbearer license – required for ages 16 and older – is $15, and the resident combination license, which includes general game and habitat, small game, furbearer and fishing, is $50.
In addition, the nonresident small game license, and the nonresident zoned waterfowl license, increased to $100. The nonresident statewide waterfowl license is $150.
Hunters should refer to the North Dakota 2014-15 Small Game and Furbearer guides (available mid-August) for more details on small game and furbearer seasons. Waterfowl regulations will be available in early September.

 SpeciesOpensClosesDaily LimitPoss Limit
Crows (fall)
 
Aug. 9Oct. 26No limitNo limit
Early Canada Goose
 
Aug. 15Sept. 15 (Sept. 7 Missouri River Zone)1545
Mountain lion zone 1 early (zone quota 14)
 
Aug. 29Nov. 23 (or when zone quota is reached)Season limit of 1 per hunter 
Mountain lion zone 1 late
(zone quota 7)
 
Nov. 24March 31 (or when zone quota is reached)Season limit of 1 per hunter 
Mountain lion zone 2
 
Aug. 29March 31Season limit of 1 per hunter 
Doves
 
Sept. 1Nov. 91545
Hungarian partridge
 
Sept. 13Jan. 4312
Sharp-tailed grouse
 
Sept. 13Jan. 4312
Ruffed grouse
 
Sept. 13Jan. 4312
Tree squirrelsSept. 13Jan. 4412
 
Sandhill crane unit 1
 
Sept. 20Nov. 1639
Sandhill crane unit 2
 
Sept. 20Nov. 1626
Snipe
 
Sept. 20Dec. 7824
Woodcock
 
Sept. 27Nov. 1039
Tundra swan
 
Oct. 4Jan. 4Season limit of 1 per hunter
 
 
Pheasants
 
Oct. 11Jan. 4312
Weasel trapping
 
Oct. 25March 15  
Mink, Muskrat trappingOct. 25April 30
 
  
Fisher trapping
 
Nov. 24Nov. 30Season limit of 1 per trapper 
 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spring Breeding Duck Numbers Tallied

 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual spring breeding duck survey conducted in May showed an index of 4.9 million birds, up 23 percent from last year and 110 percent above the long-term average (1948-2013).
Mike Szymanski, waterfowl biologist, said all species increased from their 2013 estimates, except canvasbacks (down 7.9 percent, but still 41 percent above long-term) and ruddy ducks (down 1.2 percent). Redheads (+64 percent), green-winged teal (+42 percent), blue-winged teal (+34 percent), wigeon (+33 percent) and scaup (+28 percent) showed the largest increases. Mallards and blue-wings were the most abundant ducks on the survey, combining for 48 percent of the total.
“Some of the later nesting dabbling duck species, such as blue-wings and shovelers, were just settling into breeding areas so their counts may have been biased slightly high this year, simply because of a cold spring and their migration lagging behind other birds,” Szymanski said. “Mallards, an early nesting species, were well into nesting and settled on breeding areas. Diving ducks pushed through the state well ahead of the survey, so we feel good about those numbers.”
Duck numbers during the last two decades are the highest since survey records began in 1948. Szymanski said abundant water and good nesting cover have kept breeding duck numbers high. “It’s pretty amazing to see the top 20 breeding duck indices have all come in the past 20 years,” he added. “We had Conservation Reserve Program acres on the landscape, and then water came in a big way. It’s safe to say we are still riding abundant populations stemming from near perfect conditions. It’s hard to say how they will fair in the future now that a large portion of their nesting cover has disappeared through CRP expirations.”
The spring water index increased 110 percent from 2013. The water index is based on basins with water, and does not necessarily represent the amount of water contained in wetlands or the type of wetlands represented.
“This year’s water index was strongly influenced by small ephemeral waters and an abundance of ditches with water,” Szymanski said. “Water conditions were good in most wetlands that ducks will use for brood rearing.”
Szymanski said water was more abundant in the northwest and northeast portions of the state. In addition, he said western North Dakota was wetter than average.
“Breeding conditions on the prairies can always change in a hurry,” Szymanski said. “Last year, conditions were looking OK when we conducted the survey, but there was some question as to whether it would dry out prior to brood rearing. Then several inches of rain fell and wetlands used for brood rearing improved. This year, conditions are looking better in those wetlands, but a hot and dry spell could change that.”
The loss of CRP acres was evident during the survey, Szymanski said, as large stretches of land conversion to cropland were obvious. “The loss of grass will hurt production of ducks and other grassland nesting birds,” he added. “However, the recent overly wet conditions are helping bridge the gap a little bit for ducks.”
Szymanski said having a lot of pairs present in May is a good thing. However, the July brood survey will provide a better idea of duck production and insight into expectations for this fall.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rolling Plains Adventures - New Ranch Addition



 
Taking you on a short tour of a new addition to Rolling Plains Adventures.  This new land adds so much habitat to hunt on for deer, pheasants, coyotes, and waterfowl.  This is some of the most scenic grounds to hunt on.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

North Dakota Spring Pheasant Count Tops Last Year

   

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
North Dakota’s spring pheasant population index is up slightly from last year, according to the State Game and Fish Department’s 2014 spring crowing count survey.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor, said the number of roosters heard crowing this spring was up about 6 percent statewide from 2013, with increases ranging from about 2 to 9 percent depending on the region.
While the spring number is a positive indicator, Kohn said it does not predict what North Dakota’s fall population will look like. Brood surveys, which begin in mid-July and are completed by September, provide a much better estimate of summer pheasant production and what hunters might expect for a fall pheasant population.
Last year, the fall population was down from 2012 because of rather poor production, but Kohn said low winter pheasant mortality, particularly in the southern one-third of the state, helped boost this year’s spring count.
Another positive is that abundant moisture has provided for good habitat conditions heading into the prime nesting period. However, Kohn noted that since 2008, North Dakota has lost more than 2 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program grasslands, much of it in the pheasant range. That means total nesting habitat in the state is significantly reduced from where it was when the spring crowing count index peaked in 2008.
The 2014 index is down about one-third from that peak. “Loss of CRP acres continue to reduce the amount of nesting and brood-rearing habitat on the landscape,” Kohn emphasized. “This and other grassland conversion is going to negatively affect our pheasant population in the future.”
Pheasant crowing counts are conducted each spring throughout North Dakota. Observers drive specified 20-mile routes, stopping at predetermined intervals, and counting the number of pheasant roosters heard crowing over a two-minute period during the stop.
The number of pheasant crows heard is compared to previous years’ data, providing a trend summary.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

2014 Pheasant Hunting Season Outlook

It is now mid June in North Dakota and the first groups of baby pheasants are starting to show.  We counted close to 10-12 chicks with each hen so far!  This is great news because it proves that the hens are healthy and strong from his past winter. 

Most areas throughout North Dakota received very cold winter weather and plenty of snow this past year.  At Rolling Plains Adventures, we had the cold weather, but we hardly received any snowfall.  The birds had plenty of food and cover to make it through and now are proving to be very productive.  These are all wild birds, so they can thrive in harsh conditions.  We are seeing strong numbers of hens and roosters on the roads each day....more then we have seen the past two years during nesting season. 
 
If the weather stays warm with just the right amounts of rainfall, this year could be a very strong year for pheasants at the ranch. 

Lets go fishing!